Amidst the ‘catastrophic suc­cess’ that was the Tur­kish lan­guage revolution or Dil Devrimi, the Turkish translation of the call to prayer, or ezan, traditionally in Arabic was per­haps the most controversial of all. Enfor­ced from 1932 to 1950, and the only significant reform to be rever­sed, the Tur­kish call to prayer was yet another attempt to define Tur­kish iden­tity apart from Islam but per­haps also within it. For star­ters, trans­lating Allah to Tanrı, problematizes the very cen­tral tenet of the faith–the unicity of God (tawhid)–through a pre-​Islamic, shamanist term.

Restoring the velar nasal ŋ via a computer-​generated voice recor­ding (with a dollop of vocaloid), Ezan Çılgıŋŋŋŋŋları high­lights the push and pull of the Western impulse and Eastern Turkic lan­guage reforms at the heart of the foun­ding of the Republic of Turkey. The tur­kish ezan was more con­sonant heavy, especially com­pared to the open-​voweled Arabic adhan. Through an entirely synethtetic re-​recording of the Tur­kish ezan with a phonetic emphasis on the ŋ– found in Uighur– Ezan Çılgıŋŋŋŋŋları pushes eof­fers to open up the mouth, through its unlikely ally, the nose.

Ezan Çılgıŋŋŋŋŋları consists of two out­sized speakers set up in the form of a rahlé (or stand for holy books) onto which visitors were invited to sit, lie down, relax and reflect.

Slavs and Tatars
Ezan Çılgıŋŋŋŋŋları

mixed media, sound, 750 x 900 x 100 cm